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MIA presents Human Animal

  • Location:
    Armory Center for the Arts, 145 North Raymond Avenue, Pasadena, California, 91103, US

MIA's September screening, HUMAN ANIMAL, features performance based video art exploring relationships with the body, sexuality and sculpture. The program will begin with a selection of short performances, followed by a six-part performance documentation, Pre-human, Post-human, Inhuman from Teri Frame where she sculpts clay applied to her own head, transforming herself. The six parts of the performance, Simians, Early Humans, Hybrids, Proportions, Races & Post-humans each explore how Western ideas about the body have changed over time using familiar imagery from both the arts and sciences.

Sara Holwerda's Chair Dance II starts as a conventional burlesque-style chair dance which evolves into a exploration of self-defense and dramatized combat. In The Obsession, Lauren Cross tears at her hair, sculpting it into one style after another, exploring perceptions of beauty. Diane Dwyer's Thumb Wars sets the camera on a pair of hands encased in rubber gloves attempting a thumb war while covered in a liquid that makes the scene both visceral and intimate. In Way To Go!, Rachelle Beaudoin does push ups over a cake which she takes a bite of each time her face nears. In Mating, Jamie Sneider replicates the mating dance of a male Superb Bird of Paradise (Lophorina superba) wooing its female subject. 

By special arrangement, the screening will also include a modified version of Heather Cassils Fast Twitch/Slow Twitch, part of her larger body of work, Cuts: A Traditional Sculpture in which the artist undertook a regime of body building combined with a specialized diet to sculpt her body to its maximum capacity. The work speaks directly to Eleanor Antin's Carving: A Traditional Sculpture and Lynda Benglis' Artforum Magazine intervention while linking them to performative practices associated with the production of hypermasculine and transgendered bodies.